It maybe didn’t light the cinematic world on fire in 2005 when it came out, but the Constantine movie starring Keanu Reeves has gone on to be cult favorite for fans of occult adventure and comic books. Now, according to Deadline, Warner Bros. will finally make a sequel. 17 years? Why so soon? Reeves will return along with original film director Francis Lawrence and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman. Goldsman will also produce along with Bad Robot’s J.J. Abrams and Hannah Minghella.
The movie took a fair amount of liberties from the Vertigo Comics source material. The original character John Constantine is a working-class warlock, occult detective, and con man from Liverpool stationed in London. He first appeared in 1985’s Swamp Thing #37 from writer Alan Moore and artists Stephen R. Bissette, Rick Vietch, and Jon Totleben. Moore and Bissette famously based Constantine’s look on Sting. Vertigo later spun the character off into his own series, Hellblazer, and Constantine played a big part in Neil Gaiman’s Sandman as well.
The movie, by virtue of casting Reeves, made the character American and transposed his exploits to New York City. Despite this, they actually managed to keep a number of his character traits and foibles. Reeves’ Constantine is hard-living, smoking, sneering, and defiant to the end. Though the character would be closer to the comics in the NBC and later CW Arrowverse shows, the movie introduced Constantine to a lot of new fans.
The announcement of a Constantine sequel is indeed a weird one consider how many DC films have been shelved or delayed since the Warner Bros.-Discovery merger. However, as the cult following continues to grow, surely the WB brass have recognized the name recognition Constantine has. The numbers on HBO Max must have given some indication. Probably even the Sandman Netflix series, with Jenna Coleman’s Johanna Constantine, brought people back to the movie.
No word yet on when the movie will materialize, nor when or if any of the other cast members from the original will return. If anyone else plays Lucifer besides Peter Stormare, however, we will be very disappointed.